The Spurs Were an Outlier of Unselfishness

The popular narrative for the NBA Finals that just concluded is pretty straightforward: The San Antonio Spurs “play basketball the way it’s supposed to be played,” and they beat the star-studded Miami Heat in what Zach Lowe called “the triumph of the NBA’s beautiful game.” The Spurs’ offense whipped the ball around, and Miami couldn’t handle such a multifaceted attack. The Heat, on the other hand, were forced to rely on what is increasingly becoming their Big One. LeBron James was epic throughout the playoffs and had an MVP-quality performance in the finals, but the top-heavy Heat collapsed under their own weight.A variety of statistics back up this description of the difference between the two teams, if not the normative judgment. For example, the Spurs had nine different players take four or more field goal attempts per game throughout the playoffs, compared to just six for Miami. More advanced statistics show something similar.One stat we can use to see how much offensive responsibilities are being spread around is “usage rate,” which estimates the percentage of a team’s possessions that were “used” by a particular player. Possessions are “used” by making field goal attempts, getting fouled or turning the ball over. Players such as James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony typically “use” a lot of possessions because they handle the ball a lot, take a lot of shots and play a lot of minutes. And because there are only so many possessions to go around, one player’s high usage rate means fewer scoring opportunities for his teammates. Teams like the Spurs, however, spread the ball around more, and more players get significant minutes, so they have a more flat distribution of possessions used.Here’s a look at how top-heavy NBA teams were in 2014, with the Spurs and Heat singled out:The x-axis on this graph is a player’s rank in a team’s usage rate, and the y-axis is the difference between the number of possessions that player used per game and the number used by the player with the highest rate. The lower the line, the more evenly a team distributes its chances across its players.Depending on how deep down the roster you look, the Heat are between the second- and fourth-most top-heavy team, while the Spurs are one of the most balanced. So that backs up the narrative.On the other hand, spreading the ball around isn’t easy, and it’s not the normal path to victory in the NBA. The most top-heavy team (and the top line on the chart) is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had the second-best record in basketball and did better against this Spurs team than Miami did. The most evenly distributed team overall was the Brooklyn Nets, who did make the playoffs but lost in five games to the Heat.The Spurs won a lot more than we would expect for a team as balanced as they are. The 15 teams with the largest gaps between their top player and their eighth player (by possessions used per game) won 57.5 percent of their games, while the 15 with the smallest gaps won 42.5 percent (the Spurs were second-lowest).Of course, not all sharing is created equal: Sometimes a team has a more equitable distribution of possessions because it has a lot of talent and it needs to incorporate it all. Sometimes it does it because it has very little talent and doesn’t have anyone it can consistently rely on. Likewise, being top-heavy can be a result of having an overly ambitious shooter on a team, or it can just be that a team has a great player doing his job. read more

McClean helps homeless in his hometown

first_imgThe Republic of Ireland footballer has paid for four persons to stay in a hotel in the city of LondonderryRepublic of Ireland player James McClean believes in giving back to life after his success in the national team and in Stoke City.The winger and his wife, have paid for hotel and food for four people in the city of Londonderry.“James text me on Sunday evening out of the blue and asked me to do him a favor,” McClean’s father Patrick told BBC News NI.declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“You never know with James what he will ask.”“He wanted to know about the homeless situation back in Derry, and I told him there seemed to be a rise in the number of people you can see sleeping rough,” he added.“James said ‘I have booked four rooms, can you go and gather whoever needs a bed for a few nights’.”“There was absolute shock and disbelief on their faces, they were so pleased that a complete stranger would do this for them,” Patrick said.last_img read more

Order not to be construed as internal affairs of any party HC

first_imgThe Patna High Court on Thursday said its order for legal examination of the Assembly Secretary’s letter recognising Nitish Kumar as JD(U)LP leader should not be construed as interference in the internal affairs of any party. “The order should not be construed as any interference in the internal affairs of any party, including JD(U),” a division bench comprising Chief Justice L N Reddy and Justice Vikash Jain said. This was said during the hearing of a review petition by former JD(U) minister PK Shahi this morning on Wednesday’s order of the same bench.last_img read more

Sculpting thoughts

first_imgSangeet Natak Akademi is hosting a show titled Yoga Chakra: Tradition and Modernity by Seema Kohli’s iconography and philosophy of the Yogini cult that inspires her work and life, with constant references to the various form of yoginis and matrikas in her paintings. It will be showcased in an art exhibition and multimedia project with evocative metal sculptures, video performances, tea stains inks and watercolour on arche’s paper. The show will commence on June 21 and will be on till June 28.  Kohli who received the prestigious Gold Award at the Florence Biennale for her video installation, Swayamsiddha — Myth, Mind and Movement, says: “It is both the iconography as well as the philosophy of the Yogini cult that inspires my work and my life. There are constant references to the various forms of yoginis and matrikas in my paintings. The idea of yoginis becomes very fascinating in today’s Kalyuga because yogini is not simply a thought and neither is her message or a sermon.”  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’She further adds: “She is experimenting on herself through kriya and yoga through which she enters our blood, vein, bones and our soul. She comes down to subliminal levels and starts her own journey, her khel — her play with herself which takes us to new mystical heights. My work I believe then becomes an exploration into these realms of the self and the relationship of the self with the larger cosmos that seeks an identity, symbol and meaning.last_img read more

Cornering a Missed Pocket of the EdTech Market

first_img Register Now » July 22, 2014 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. New technology is changing the way students learn. And as the ed-tech market grows, startups and big technology companies alike are jumping in to provide solutions to meet schools’ changing needs. Just how big is the opportunity?Pegged at an estimated $8 billion in 2013 by the Software & Information Industry Association, the education-technology market is reaching unprecedented heights. According to EdSurge, the ed-ech industry received more than $327 million in venture-capital investment in the second quarter of this year alone.Yet amid the boom in private investment and technology talent migrating into education, entrepreneurs don’t always know how new apps and tools will align with schools’ day-to-day needs. Technology companies would have a better chance of developing products that school systems would actually pay to use, if they had better insight into the market and knew what schools were trying to accomplish as they integrate technology, the variety of tools that schools are currently using and where schools’ demands remain unmet.A new report “Schools and software: What’s now and what’s next” that I co-authored for my organization, the Clayton Christensen Institute, dives into the demand side of ed tech and offers entrepreneurs a glimpse of school systems’ unrealized needs.Here are three tips for entrepreneurs hoping to break into the market:Related: Why Everyone Wants a Piece of Ed Tech1. Small- to medium-size school systems are seeking entrepreneurial help. Although many ed-tech companies organize their sales teams to serve the largest districts, small- to medium-size school systems (serving 2,500 to 25,000 students) educate half of the 48 million public-school students in the United States. Because they have smaller budgets, these systems cannot always access the best-in-their-class solutions for academic and operations software, and some even rely on Excel spreadsheets for basic organizational and accounting tasks.But that leaves a huge untapped customer base in some areas. For example, smaller school systems are eager for integrated back-office software solutions that connect human resources, accounting and student information systems. This would enable school systems of this size to recruit, support and organize employees efficiently.Related: Mark Zuckerberg Puts His Money in Ed-Tech Startup2. Promise better integration with other tools and better data analytics. And schools will follow. Schools are responding enthusiastically to the proliferation of tools in the marketplace: Leaders reported using upwards of 30 different tools in any given school system. But using a variety of point solutions comes at a cost. In fact, schools struggle to integrate software tools within and across departments, and they report that it’s nearly impossible to extract actionable data from many online-learning programs.A few companies, like Clever and Education Elements, are working to address these integration woes. Still, schools need help making their existing software tools talk to one another and are willing to invest in new tools that can help integrate the student data coming out of disparate software programs.Related: Tips for Launching an Ed-Tech Startup3. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Despite its allure, ed tech risks encountering the same failure that has plagued reformers for years: There is no silver bullet for education. Even if companies peddle one-stop-shop solutions, the schools contacted by my organization are not using singular ed-tech products in a one-size-fits-all manner. Instead, educators are finding that one online-learning program may be great for homework but less suited for in-class assessment. Others may be excellent for drill practice but fall short in promoting deeper learning.These discrete use cases inside classrooms and schools are something that developers and designers need to keep in mind when working with schools. Educators would be delighted to know that a product can do one thing reliably well, rather than do everything with mixed or opaque results. These gaps in the current ed-tech market offer enticing entry points for entrepreneurs interested in the next wave of technology integration in schools.As Alex Hernandez, the co-author of the report and partner at the Charter School Growth Fund, put it, “Both entrepreneurs and schools are getting more sophisticated about the opportunities for software” in kindergarten-to-grade 12 education. “While some challenges are technical, others are about cooperation among vendors and schools. I’m optimistic we can make progress on both fronts.” Related: The Technology That Could Save Schools Thousands Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Rep Chatfield applauds pipeline report

first_img Lawmaker begins work on bills to address safety concernsState Rep. Lee Chatfield is leading an effort to increase transparency between Enbridge and the state of Michigan by drafting legislation to require state review and approval of future pipeline changes.The legislation follows today’s release of a Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force report that calls for a ban on heavy crude oil transportation through the 5B Pipeline in the Mackinac Straits, along with other recommendations for the 5B and other petroleum and gas pipelines across Michigan.“When it comes to our Great Lakes and inland waterways, we must remember that this is not just a part of who we are in Northern Michigan, it is the lifeblood that drives our tourism and economic development,” Rep. Chatfield said. “Preserving our water is critical for the future of Northern Michigan’s success, and it’s imperative that we take the simple, necessary steps laid out in this report to ensure its safety.”The task force report recommendations for the 5B Pipeline include mandatory full insurance coverage, examining future options, disclosure of Enbridge safety inspections and creation of a public advisory committee.“Enbridge has recently taken many important steps to ensure that the pipeline remains safe, fully operable and properly inspected,” Rep. Chatfield said. “However, increasing reporting requirements for this critical industry improves much-needed transparency with the public and the Legislature.“I share the concerns voiced by this report for preserving the quality of the Straits of Mackinac, and I am encouraging that action be taken immediately.” Categories: Chatfield News 14Jul Rep. Chatfield applauds pipeline reportlast_img read more